Concrete is coming back in style, and frankly, it’s a great thing! Don’t get us wrong, wood decks and yard implements look beautiful too, but concrete… well, it’s another word for solid for a reason!
Concrete is a foundation material for homes, commercial buildings, and roadways, but it can just as easily be the foundation for your outdoor landscape plan, too! It’s often forgotten in favour of plants, lawns, and nice wooden architecture, but it can be a very beautiful addition to any landscaping. Plus, it’s a very resilient material.
Concrete is Versatile
Concrete is a lot more useful than just laying it down as some street hockey material. It’s easily formed into a lot of different shapes and sizes, letting it work with your house, the layout of your yard, and whatever plans you have for the landscaping. You can put in deft curves, colour it with different hues, and embed other materials for interesting and creative patterns and engravings.
It’s easy to forget that concrete isn’t just grey slab. It can take on the appearance of different materials, like stone, brick, even (if you’ve got the right skills) wood! This ability to make different textures and appearances can also be a money saver, as you can put in a concrete patio that looks like a different material, rather than it being a patio made of a more costly material.
It is Strong
While it’s not “forever” forever, concrete won’t rot, split or warp like wood will. You can throw whatever type of weather at it, and it will stand. While you have to adapt the structure to different climes – a colder climate and a warmer climate will need different things – concrete is solid enough to endure anything.
It’s also easier to maintain! Because of its solidity, there isn’t a place where weeds can sprout through, and its surface can be treated with readily-available materials to prevent trip hazards. There’s no annual maintenance, either – no sealing or staining needed to maintain its strength like you would have to do on a wooden deck.
Concrete is so important that Bill Gates even wrote a little ode to it on his blog, titled “Have You Hugged a Concrete Pillar Today?” It’s an interesting argument about how much we rely on it in our everyday lives, and how this cheap, strong material is the literal foundation for urban expansion. It really gives a fresh perspective to an old product!
It Can Keep Out Water
Concrete is the material of choice when laying down a walkway or a foundation because not only is it a functional surface, it can also guide water away and create an effective drainage system. Patios, walkways, and driveways should be sloped properly so that rainwater goes away from the foundation and doesn’t pool; pooling water can affect the integrity of the concrete, and can give mosquitos and other insects the perfect breeding ground.
Concrete isn’t perfect, of course, but that’s where we come in. It’s a material that can easily be repaired, and doesn’t require a full overhaul to get at problems. When laying down a foundation, measures should be taken to prevent water from pooling next to it; roundstone treatment is what we recommend!
That gray slab is so much more than your foundational material – rethink concrete!